Know How / Environment

Get the latest news on environmental, wildlife and rewilding issues on farms and farmland. Keep up-to-date on a range of farm environment matters including Defra’s greening policies, environmental compliance, water abstraction licences, ammonia emissions, and farm pollution. See advice on measure to improve your farm’s environmental credentials and sustainable future, such as planting trees to improve soil, livestock cover and a habitat for wildlife.

Advice and tips


A guide to farm recycling: the options and costs

Plastic usage is a hot topic globally, with all industries under pressure to reduce the amount used. On farms – particularly livestock units – large quantities of plastic are used…


How to control smells on poultry farms

Keeping a tight lid on smell is one of the primary responsibilities of the poultry farm manager. Statutory authorities have a duty to deal with odour complaints from a variety…


Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Plant protection product stewardship campaigns are now at the heart of industry efforts to prevent further losses of under-threat active ingredients. Here, we give a reminder of the key actives…


Septic tanks on farm: Rules and replacements

By the time 1 January 2020 comes round, the Environment Agency hopes that farmers with septic tanks that currently discharge into a watercourse will have checked them and upgraded if necessary.…

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Case studies


Organic farmer branches out into agroforestry

Eastbrook Farm is home to renowned organic farmer and chief executive of the Soil Association, Helen Browning. She took over the farm, and its subsequent conversion to organic status, at…


How a Salers herd aims to become carbon neutral by 2035

Mixed farmer Conor Colgan is using increasingly sophisticated methods and research to increase the efficiency of his farm in an attempt to become carbon neutral. Relatively basic improvements in herd…


How a veg grower slashed energy and pesticide use

A large farming estate on the Norfolk/Suffolk border is making great progress in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions involved with growing root vegetables. Elveden Farms, which specialises in potatoes, onions,…


Video: How Gloucs farmers are working to prevent flooding

Farmers and landowners in Gloucestershire’s Upper Thames area are working together to manage the land to provide catchment-scale solutions to prevent future floods while making businesses resilient.  When storms Eva…

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Results-based pilot scheme helps farmers deliver green goals

A pioneering scheme that gives farmers flexibility to create their own environmental plan tailored for their land is achieving fantastic results for local wildlife, say industry leaders. Defra published the…


What new water protection powers would mean for farmers

The Environment Agency is close to using fresh powers to regulate water quality that will include the ability to ban cropping or impose low stocking densities. Water Protection Zones (WPZs)…


Why farm policy should support agroforestry

One of the recurring messages from the recent spate of reports and conferences about climate change is that farmers and landowners need to be planting more trees. That was spelled…


Q&A: Should you consider agroforestry on your farm?

Agroforestry is something of the ‘poor relation’ when it comes to increasing the country’s tree cover, but its potential contribution to offsetting climate change should not be underestimated. So, what…

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Plan unveiled to encourage farmers to plant more trees

Farmers in Northumberland will be encouraged to switch hundreds of acres of land into forestry, as part of the government’s ongoing drive to increase tree planting. Details are limited at…


Update to 2020 Nix to reflect climate change agenda

Farmers need to widen their business management to start thinking about how they account for their water usage, environmental emissions and waste, according to the latest John Nix Farm Pocketbook.…


Tougher planning rules foreseen in national landscapes review

Farmers operating in areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) could face tougher planning controls, if government acts on the recommendations of a review of national parks and AONBs just published.…


Welsh Water offers to collect unwanted pesticides for free

Farmers in Wales and parts of England are being offered a free pesticide collection and disposal service by Welsh Water to remove any unwanted, out of date or unlicensed products.…

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Video: Why farmers are facing recycling headaches

Plastic and tyre waste disposal is a growing problem for agriculture. Environmental regulations require farmers to dispose of waste through reputable waste management services and they need to show proof…


Video: Why cattle and a combine are environmental champions

Farming is often painted by environmental groups as the bad guy but a project to improve water quality and carbon storing are proving that farming holds some of the answers…


Video: Grower reacts to planned ban for chlorothalonil

As a conventional farmer, David Butler is trying to find the right balance between productive agriculture and looking after wildlife on his farm. A fourth-generation farmer, Mr Butler farms East…


Video: High-tech machine to revolutionise slurry pollution

While there has been a reduction in water pollution problems over recent years in England, agriculture is now the sector responsible for the largest number of serious incidents. In this…

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